Discovery: Using the DSTWO on a late-model Original DS enables variable/higher brightness settings!

Discussion in 'Supercard' started by sieroi, Jan 29, 2016.

  1. sieroi
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    sieroi GBAtemp Regular

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    Apr 29, 2015
    Pretty neat quirk. It only seems to be the case on the very last batches of original/phat DS systems, on the market at the same time as the DS Lite. The original DS models shipped with two brightness settings, and only two- "On" and "Off". The DSTwo, on compatible models, allows you to set variable brightness from within EOS/Real-time Menu by tapping the brightness icon- just like a DS Lite.

    It also, surprisingly, allows you to raise the brightness above the highest level the stock system software permits.

    Obviously, this won't turn your original DS into a DS Lite- by any stretch. The screen's still 2004-era quality, with the same washed-out colours as ever - but it is a marked improvement where the extra brightness is helpful, and a neat, unexpected bonus feature of the card.

    This only works on DS systems that shipped with Firmware v5 - essentially, just those released at the very end of the model's production run. Earlier model systems don't allow this to work- the necessary hardware just isn't available.

    It's the same sort of result you can get by flashing a late-revision FlashMe Lite firmware image on a v5 DS, but without the necessity of overwriting your system's firmware.

    To check whether your system is on a compatible (v5) firmware revision, just follow the standard steps- turn on the system with a DS cartridge inserted, open PictoChat, enter a Chat Room, then eject the cartridge while the system's still turned on. If both screens turn purple/magenta, your system is compatible with this- if not, you're out of luck.

    I assume that this will work on any other flashcart that allows brightness level adjustment from within its UI, as well- but I've only got a DSTWO to test it with.
     
    Last edited by sieroi, Jan 29, 2016
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  2. The Real Jdbye

    The Real Jdbye Always Remember 30/07/08

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    This isn't exactly unknown, but I wasn't aware that flashcarts could change the brightness on such systems.
    The v5 firmware units actually had the hardware required for brightness adjustment, as it's a hardware feature, not a software one. The DS phat firmware just didn't make that hardware functionality accessible. IIRC it was mainly the red MKDS units that came with this firmware.
    Anyone who still has a v5 phat should probably install flashme on it. It's easy to install on a phat, much trickier on a lite though. I've done it myself on my v3 phat (which supported wifime making the process doable without a slot-1 cartridge, which didn't exist at the time)